Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bill Wolf in Oaxaca

The memorial party for Bill Wolf at the Bucheon Gallery, which I discussed in the previous post (click here), was attended not only by friends, lovers, family, and a few perfect strangers like myself, but also by Bill's dog Felipe (above).

After a few trips to Oaxaca, Mexico as a tourist with his lover Russell, Bill fell in love with the place and accepted a job offer from the local art museum in Oaxaca in 1991.

Instead of hanging out with the American expatriate community, Bill jumped into the life of Mexico and Oaxaca with wholehearted abandon, continuing to create artistic communities, but also bringing a San Francisco artistic hippie fag consciousness with him.

He realized early on that the SIDA (Spanish for AIDS) education was still in its infancy in Mexico so he left the museum and got a job with the federal government's State of Oaxaca SIDA education program.

He sickened of the bureaucracy and ended up joining with the mayor's wife and creating his own organization called "Frente Comun Contra El SIDA," which even opened up three nonprofit stores to sell condoms.

The stores were eventually shut down during the horrible clash in 2006, between the citizens of Oaxaca and their state government, run by a remarkably evil fellow named Ulises Ruiz.

The "Common Front Against AIDS" also received visits from government goons, smashing windows and making threats, and the group was eventually shuttered.

Bill Wolf died of lung cancer that mestasticized and he kept his condition secret from everyone, but he spent the last year of his life putting together his own "CHORNOLOGY" of his art, theatre, and political projects on the web.

Click here to check it out. The pictures alone are amazing, but the wider world it depicts is completely fascinating.

And Felipe, a "Roof Dog of Oaxaca," even has his own autobiography on the site, which is definitely worth reading (and you can do so by clicking here).

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